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After the seemingly directionless and free-structured ‘Formulas Fatal to the Flesh’, Morbid Angel return to a more simplistic, formulaic approach not too dissimilar to ‘Domination’. But while ‘Domination’ sounded fresh and inspired, ‘Gateways’ comes across as plodding and by-the-numbers with the end result sounding like a collection of 'Nothing is Not’ and ‘Where the Slime Lives’ clones with the album slowly dirging its way through tracks rarely raising the intensity levels.
However, while disappointing in its almost doomish approach, this is still Morbid Angel and the band hasn’t written a bad album in their whole illustrious career. Tracks such as ‘To the Victor the Spoils’ and ‘Secured Limitations’ still rock as good as anything MA have done in the past and there are still glimpses of the band’s greatness scattered across the album.
Also Steve Tucker has taken a more active role in the lyrical creation this time around and we are greeted once again with the more familiar occult/satanic tinged themes and messages. Steve’s vocals are also now given more freedom to move and the slower pace helps him put more of a personality into his delivery.
In the end, the album suffers from being just a little too slow and too long for its own good and drowns under its own weight in parts, however there's just too much quality here for this to be a total fail. A solid if not amazing album from a true innovator of the death metal genre.